City of Aurora files motion to dismiss Elijah McClain federal suit

Local News

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – The City of Aurora has filed legal paperwork, asking a judge to dismiss a civil rights, wrongful death lawsuit against the City, filed on behalf of Elijah McClain’s family earlier this year.

“The Complaint fails to adequately plead claims against Defendant City under any theory of municipal liability. The Complaint relies on conclusory allegations without supporting facts, which are insufficient to support a claim,” the court paperwork says. “Therefore, the claims against Defendant City should be dismissed pursuant to Fed R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).”

Five different motions to dismiss were filed in federal court late Monday, representing the City, and other defendants including many of the City personnel — including the medics and police officers — who were involved in or present during or after the police altercation with Elijah McClain in August 2019.

McClain was sedated with ketamine after the altercation and later died. A coroner said multiple factors – including the carotid hold used on him during the altercation, and the sedative – could not be ruled out as possible contributors to his demise.

“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised because this  is consistent with the stance Aurora, the police, and the medics have taken the entire time claiming they should not be held responsible for murdering a completely innocent young Black man,” said Mari Newman, the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of McClain’s family. “It’s time for Aurora to accept accountability and just do what’s right rather than dragging this family through years of litigation.”

The City of Aurora also issued a statement to the FOX31 Problem Solvers:

The death of Elijah McClain was a tragic event and Aurora would like to work with the family toward a resolution that honors the legacy of Elijah and moves the community forward. The motion being made today doesn’t take away from that objective. The motion to dismiss is an appropriate, commonly used tool to request the court review and determine which claims will continue forward in the case.

No matter the outcome of this lawsuit, the City of Aurora will continue the course of reform and the new way of policing it has begun. We remain committed to systemic change and to exemplifying a philosophy and practice of compassion, accountability, openness and respect for all in our community. These are critical steps to help the community mend and begin to rebuild trust.

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